The Tragic History of the Sea, 1589-1622: Narratives of the Shipwrecks of the Portuguese East Indiamen Sao Thome (1589), Santo Alberto (1593), Sao Joao Baptista (1622), and the Journeys of the Survivors in South East Africa

The Tragic History of the Sea, 1589-1622: Narratives of the Shipwrecks of the Portuguese East Indiamen Sao Thome (1589), Santo Alberto (1593), Sao Joao Baptista (1622), and the Journeys of the Survivors in South East Africa

The Tragic History of the Sea, 1589-1622: Narratives of the Shipwrecks of the Portuguese East Indiamen Sao Thome (1589), Santo Alberto (1593), Sao Joao Baptista (1622), and the Journeys of the Survivors in South East Africa

The Tragic History of the Sea, 1589-1622: Narratives of the Shipwrecks of the Portuguese East Indiamen Sao Thome (1589), Santo Alberto (1593), Sao Joao Baptista (1622), and the Journeys of the Survivors in South East Africa

Excerpt

In the years 1735-6, a dozen narratives (mostly reprints) of ship- wrecks and other maritime disasters were published in a collected two-volume edition at Lisbon byBernardo Gomes de Brito, under the title of História Trágico-Marítima, or Tragic History of the Sea. The printing and publishing licences of these two volumes bear dates ranging between 8 March 1729 and 12 June 1736, so they were some seven years in the press. During this time, or possibly a little later, a third volume appeared, bearing no contemporary licences but containing about half a dozen narratives of similar origin, separately paginated, and collected together without any general title-page or introductory matter. The person or persons responsible for this clandestinely published third volume, which is much rarer than the other two, have never been identified; but it has always been regarded as forming a continuation of those two volumes, and is discussed by bibliographers and catalogued by booksellers under the same general title. The first two volumes include shipwrecks and maritime disasters from the loss of the São João off the coast of Natal in 1552, down to the capture of the Santiago by the Dutch off Saint Helena in 1602. The third volume usually contains reprints of six narratives originally published between 1625 and 1651, but it sometimes includes one or more original eighteenth-century relations, and no two of the copies which I have examined are exactly alike.

The bibliographical and editorial problems connected with the História Trágico-Marítima have been discussed in considerable detail elsewhere, and there is no need to go over the same ground here. Suffice it to say that these narratives were eagerly read when . . .

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